Yaoundé, Cameroon — On November 9, Acting Country Director for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Clement Bertin Ndongmo joined Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo, representative of the Prime Minister, and Dr. Manaouda Malachie, Minister of Public Health, to open the 4th International Public Health Emergency Management Forum at the Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé.
The Forum brought together for three days over 350 health experts from Cameroon, the Central African region, and around the globe to share their best practices in managing public health events, with a particular focus on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event coincided with Cameroon’s Emergency Management Month, which included trainings, capability-building seminars, and a tabletop simulation exercise focused on strengthening awareness and management of emergencies. The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supported the Forum and trainings alongside the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries.
Dr. Clement Bertin Ndongmo stated: “We commend the Minister of Public Health for his commitment to ensuring that Cameroon adheres to the International Health Regulations and serves as an example to other member states to strengthen their capacity to respond effectively to health threats.” Highlighting the need for continued efforts to ensure global health security, he said, “The U.S. Government will continue to work collaboratively to strengthen emergency management capacity in Cameroon and the region to ensure improved public health for current and future generations.”
Since Cameroon was selected as one of the 17 Global Health Security Agenda Phase One countries in 2015, the U.S. Government has assisted the Government of Cameroon in strengthening public health capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats. DTRA and CDC constructed the Public Health Emergency Operations Center and officially turned over ownership to the Government of Cameroon in June 2019. The Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, facilitates the coordination and management of health emergencies in the country. The construction of the approximately $3 million (2 billion F CFA) facility and the provision of state-of-the-art equipment reflects the U.S. Government’s efforts to increase emergency response capacity in Cameroon.